A Lackadaisical Lexicon for Laggard Logophiles
DEUS EX MACHINA
[phrase]
1. Latin: “god from the machine”; plural: dei ex machina - a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object. The Latin phrasecomes to English usage from Horace’s Ars Poetica, where he instructs poets that they must never resort to a god from the machine to solve their plots. He refers to the conventions of Greek tragedy, where a crane (mekhane) was used to lower actors playing gods onto the stage. The machine referred to in the phrase could be either the crane employed in the task, a calque from the Greek “god from the machine” (ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός, apò mēkhanḗs theós), or the riser that brought a god up from a trap door.
2. (in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the entanglements of the plot.
2. any artificial or improbable device resolving the difficulties of a plot.

DEUS EX MACHINA

[phrase]

1. Latin: “god from the machine”; plural: dei ex machina - a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object. The Latin phrasecomes to English usage from Horace’s Ars Poetica, where he instructs poets that they must never resort to a god from the machine to solve their plots. He refers to the conventions of Greek tragedy, where a crane (mekhane) was used to lower actors playing gods onto the stage. The machine referred to in the phrase could be either the crane employed in the task, a calque from the Greek “god from the machine” (ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός, apò mēkhanḗs theós), or the riser that brought a god up from a trap door.

2. (in ancient Greek and Roman drama) a god introduced into a play to resolve the entanglements of the plot.

2. any artificial or improbable device resolving the difficulties of a plot.

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